Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bernie leads Hillary in new poll

The tide may have turned against the formerly presumptive Democratic nominee for president. A poll released yesterday, August 11, shows that Hillary Clinton is no longer the frontrunner in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

The poll by Franklin Pierce/Boston Herald found Mrs. Clinton trailing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by 44-37 percent. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not formally launched a campaign, ran a distant third with nine percent while other Democratic candidates garnered less than one percent each. The poll’s margin of error was 4.7 percentage points.

Although Mrs. Clinton has been plagued by plummeting approval ratings, this is the first poll that has showed her trailing Sen. Sanders. Clinton’s campaign has suffered amid the revelation that she may have broken the law by using a private email server while serving as secretary of state under Barack Obama. On Tuesday, Clinton’s attorney agreed to provide the server and several thumb drives containing thousands of emails to the FBI, according to the Washington Post.

Amid the revelations of scandals, Mrs. Clinton’s approval rating has fallen to historic lows. According to the Huffington Post, Clinton now has a negative net approval rating based on a combination of polls. Forty-eight percent now view Clinton negatively while only 41 percent have a positive view of her. Her popularity peaked in January 2011 with 61 percent approval.  

Nationally, Mrs. Clinton retains a lead over Sen. Sanders, but that lead is dwindling. The most recent national poll, by Fox News, gave Mrs. Clinton a 51-22 percent lead. Nevertheless, Sanders has more than doubled his support over the past several months as Clinton’s has eroded sharply.

Another poll released Tuesday shows that Mrs. Clinton is also losing ground against potential Republican rivals. Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling found that four Republican candidates now lead Mrs. Clinton in Iowa. Ben Carson is the Republican who fares best against Clinton with a 44 to 40 lead. Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio all hold a one point lead.

The Iowa caucuses will open the 2016 election season on February 1. The New Hampshire primary will be held on Tuesday, February 9. In addition to being a political bellwether, Iowa is now considered a swing state by many observers.

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